LOS ANGELES -- For practical reasons, Giants manager Bruce Bochy might not commit himself to naming a probable starting pitcher for Games 3 and 4 of the Division Series until the first two games have been played."Sure, there is that possibility," Bochy said Monday. Matt Cain will start Saturday's Division Series opener and Madison Bumgarner is expected to follow in Game 2. But Bochy pointed out that one of the other starters -- Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong or Barry Zito -- could pitch in relief in one of those games, which would necessitate altering the Division Series rotation. One of them, of course, will be assigned to the bullpen anyway, since the Giants intend to employ a four-man postseason rotation. Bochy used Bumgarner and Lincecum out of the bullpen in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series two years ago at Philadelphia. But Bochy didn't have to adjust his pitching plans because Cain was the next day's scheduled starter and the Giants clinched the series that night anyway.
Loux appreciates rare Major League win
LOS ANGELES -- Shane Loux had no trouble naming the Major League opponents he has defeated: Kansas City, Baltimore, Oakland and now San Diego."When you only have four, they stick out," said Loux, a veteran of 16 professional seasons spent mostly in the Minor Leagues. Loux, 33, pitched a scoreless eighth inning Sunday and benefited from the Giants' three-run, ninth-inning rally to earn the decision in their 7-5 victory over the Padres. It was, in a sense, a nice keepsake for Loux, who has divided this season between Triple-A Fresno and the Giants when he wasn't sidelined with a neck injury. Having made 321 of his 379 pro appearances in the Minors, few players are more appreciative of spending time in the Majors than Loux, despite his modest ranking in the bullpen pecking order. "If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I'd be playing the Dodgers in October, I don't know if I would have believed you. But I'm happy that the organization gave me a shot -- and another one," Loux said Monday, referring to his initial signing with the Giants in December 2010 and his return this year.
Crawford could start vs. lefties in postseason
LOS ANGELES -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy hinted that shortstop Brandon Crawford, who has established himself as a defensive asset, might start in the Division Series against left-handers as well as right-handers.Asked Monday about that possibility, Bochy said, "I'm not going to answer that right now. There's a good chance of it, though." The left-handed-batting Crawford typically is replaced by right-handed-swinging Joaquin Arias when the Giants oppose a left-handed starter. That's primarily due to Arias' .304 batting average against left-handers. Crawford entered Monday with a .248 average overall, which includes .245 off right-handers and .257 against lefties. Since the All-Star break, he's batting .349 (15-for-43) off lefties. Cincinnati, one of the Giants' possible Division Series foes, does not have a left-hander among its top five starters. Washington features three: Gio Gonzalez, Ross Detwiler and John Lannan.
The Giants organization issued a reminder to Bay Area fans to confirm that the team's first two Division Series games will be played Saturday and Sunday at AT&T Park. Fans will want to pay particular attention once starting times for those games are announced, because traffic is likely to be an issue. An unusual number of highly attended events will be held in and around San Francisco this weekend, including a 49ers-Bills game, an America's Cup sailing event, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park and Fleet Week, which includes flying exhibitions by the Blue Angels. Bochy announced that a light, brief workout has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park, mainly to enable pitchers to do their required throwing and for players with bumps and bruises to receive treatment. Giants catcher Buster Posey ranked 17th on the list of top 20 players' jerseys sold since the All-Star break, according to a list released by Major League Baseball.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.